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Published on April 2nd, 2015 | by James Ayre


Kia Dealer: Don’t Buy A Kia Soul EV

April 2nd, 2015 by  

What’s the “best way to sell” an electric car? Perhaps telling someone not to buy one because there’s no good reason to possibly want one.

Huh? Well, that does sound like a particularly strong sales strategy, I admit…. if you aren’t looking to sell an electric car that is, and instead want to sell only conventional cars.

On that topic… a recent news item serves as an excellent example of just such a situation. A potential Kia buyer recently contacted Kia of Vancouver, in British Columbia, Canada, enquiring about the Kia Soul EV — and was met with a really rather humorous (or sad) letter telling the customer to never purchase an EV.


Like many people in the modern world would do when met with something so seemingly strange, that buyer then posted the letter from the Kia dealer internet sales manager (a Phil Curtin) for our enjoyment, amongst other things. Here it is in all of its glory (via InsideEVs):

Thank you for your interest in the Soul EV.

Are you interested because you think an EV will save you money, or because you believe it will be good for the environment? Because realistically, it will do neither. The Carbon footprint of making the electric battery is equivalent to driving the gas powered luxury Soul for 5 years, and the extra 8-10000 $ you will pay for an EV, would pay for gas in a 2.0 l GDI four cylinder for 7 years.

So again, whatever your buying motivation, savings or environment, at this point in time, the EV is a social / political statement and is good neither for your pocketbook, nor the environment.

Boom. Not subtle at all. As you can probably guess, it came out in later email correspondence with the Sales Manager of Kia of Vancouver that the dealership doesn’t even sell the Kia Soul EV.

I wonder what the reason for trashing the vehicle could be? 🙂

And that dealerships act like they don’t know why so many people hate salespeople….


With regard to the follow-up comments from the Sales Manager, Jason Wong, he apologized (in a sort of half-assed way) for the way that his employee worded things — noting that it was “not a good sounding tone.” Hmm, was it really about the tone or the intent and misinformation?

After saying that, Wong did go over the exact same talking points that his employee made, again. He just couldn’t help himself, I suppose. That overall culture of trying to sell as much as possible (even if it’s not what the customer actually wants) that’s so prevalent in dealerships (and elsewhere in modern life) has a lot to do with why Tesla has gotten so much public support for the “right” to sell directly to customers.

With the current ubiquity of the internet, I just don’t see a good reason to force consumers to go through the exploitative dealership model, rather than being given the option to buy direct. Hopefully the laws will change soon. Is a law forcing people to, essentially, be ripped off really something that’s defensible? How many middlemen do you need?

Image Credit: Kia 


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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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